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Police officer dead, another missing on mountain

20 Comments

A Tokyo police officer was found dead and his female colleague is missing on Mt Tanigawa in eastern Japan, local police said Tuesday, two days after receiving a distress call.

The body of Kenji Konagai, 43, was discovered by a police helicopter around 8:40 a.m. after his trekking companion, a 52-year-old woman also from the Metropolitan Police Department, called Sunday afternoon saying they had slipped and could not get up.

Konagai was found at a point in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, around 250 meters below a route on the 1,977-meter mountain, the prefectural police said.

The police will continue searching for the female officer Wednesday.

Mt Tanigawa is a popular mountain for hikers and climbers with easy access from the Tokyo metropolitan area. While its altitude is relatively low compared with the central Japan mountain ranges known as the Japan Alps, which include peaks of over 3,000 meters, Mt. Tanigawa has steep, rocky trails and sudden changes of weather that can lead to accidents.

There were also multiple reports of accidents on other mountains in Japan on Tuesday, with some climbers being trapped in blizzard conditions.

At Mt Yarigatake, a 3,180-meter peak straddling Nagano and Gifu prefectures in central Japan, three men were confirmed dead after they went missing on Monday amid low visibility.

© KYODO

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20 Comments
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Police officer dead, another missing on mountain

Then on reading the story, the fact that they were both employed by the police has absolutley no bearing on the reason why thery were there. There is no mention of whether they were there on official police duties, or for recreation, although the indication is the latter.

So why put in the headline they were Police?

4 ( +12 / -8 )

So why put in the headline they were Police?

Because they were police..

Go Gadget Go !!..

2 ( +7 / -5 )

We have spy satellites over NK that can read coins, but nothing over japan that can find two humans who are probably wearing reflexive hiking clothing?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@Goodlucktoyou

It cost millions to move and reposition a spy satellite.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Very unclearly written article.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

thepersoniamnowToday  09:30 am JST

Very unclearly written article.

Clear enough to me, what do you think is wrong? What would you re-write?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It cost millions to move and reposition a spy satellite.

Our military budget this year is only $51.7 billion. I guess the Self Defence Forces shouldn’t spend a cent on defending Japanese people.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This is sad to hear.

I have been on numerous trails here in Japan that scared the hell out of me. Trail building is completely different here than I am used to in the US. Trails go straight up the mountain, while in the US, they usually gently traverse with lots of endless switchbacks.

I don't know if this is where the accident occurred, but check out this section of the trail by scrolling down to the 4th photo. https://www.insidejapantours.com/blog/2018/01/23/mount-tanigawa/

This is very common.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We only ever climbed the alps with a guide.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am very interested in doing this myself (despite being 60 now) but I could think of one item I would not leave at home, on these trips; a Ham Radio.

I would bet HUNDREDS of Ham Stations could have copied a Distress Call at that Altitude. There is a National Calling Frequency Monitored by literally Tens of Thousands of Amateur Radio Operators across the nation..just for this purpose

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We have spy satellites over NK that can read coins, but nothing over japan that can find two humans who are probably wearing reflexive hiking clothing?

These days helicopters which are closer to the ground, have thermal imaging technology that can find people. Not sure Japan has the same equipment on drones like the US does.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry to hear about their death. Japan mountains cannot be the taken lately, thus most Japanese hikers over prepare and have easily 10万 in gear on them at any time.

btw, aren’t govt employees supposed to stay home during the state of emergency? Didn’t they get the internal email?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mountains always claim lives

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm up in the Kita Alps now. I started climbing Yarigatake on Sunday but turned back due to high avalanche risks and deteriorating weather conditions. There was a young man behind me that decided to continue up despite my warnings and the subsequent warnings of the mountain hut staff who were coming down due to the bad weather. Only inexperienced foolhardy individuals would've climbed in Monday's weather. Yesterday I was in the Karasawa basin (alt.2300m) and it very hot - shorts and t-shirt hot - and there were avalanches non-stop, including slab avalanches. I saw two in the space of less than an hour. But still, some people were climbing...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And for those questioning the quality of the search and rescue, you cannot fly choppers in gale conditions with zero visibility at sea level, let alone at 3,000m altitude. How could anybody even think otherwise?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hope they find her alive and well. RIP to the deceased officer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alpine guides carry walkie talkies and speak with other guides about what is happening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@WA4TKG Ham radios, or any other kind of field radio frequency emitting devices, are illegal in Japan. You can't even use an EPERB here (or if you do, you need to get a radio station license: I'm not joking). What you want is an InReach by Garmin. A satellite tracking device with two way emailing capabilities, weather updates with an SOS button pinpointing your exact coordinates regardless of weather conditions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Harry Gato

The headline is somewhat misleading.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

tomlivesToday  12:54 pm JST

@WA4TKG Ham radios, or any other kind of field radio frequency emitting devices, are illegal in Japan.

Nonsense. There are more than 400,000 licensed hams in Japan, including myself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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